Competition year : 

Announcement of results : 
End of April 2020

Amount : 
From $20,000 $ to $60,000

Duration : 
Maximum of 36 months


This program is archived

Program rules

1. Objectives

The purposes of the Réal-Decoste scholarships (created by Ouranos) are to foster student interest in research and financially assist the best candidates in undertaking or continuing a research doctorate on climate changes their expected impacts and adaptation strategies. For more information on the role and goals of the consortium, one may go to the Ouranos website.

Research domains and priorities

The eligible research domains are as following:

  • climate sciences
  • applied regional climatology
  • fields of research related to the impacts of climate changes such as:
  • hydrology
  • biology
  • life sciences
  • social sciences

Among those fields, themes deemed priorities by Ouranos are:

  • historical data
  • climate models
  • oceanic and atmospheric exchanges
  • climate scenarios
  • analysis of climate variability
  • impacts of climate changes on:
  • permafrost
  • hydrology and electricity generation;
  • forestry
  • coastal erosion
  • water levels
  • agricultural production
  • the Saint Lawrence River
  • tourism
  • health
  • water management and treatment systems
  • energy demand
  • socio-economic assessments of impacts and adaptation strategies

2. Clientele

Réal-Decoste doctoral research scholarship is directed towards candidates, Canadian citizen or not, who wish to undertake or continue a doctoral university program in a Quebec university, in areas related to climatic change and its impacts.

3. Eligibility conditions

  • Candidates must meet the following eligibility conditions as of the deadline for submitting applications.
  • undertake or continue a doctoral program in an area or a discipline related to climatic changes or their impacts;
  • be accepted or registered in a doctoral program in an university located in the Province of Québec;
  • be already supervised by a research director or having an agreement with a research director accepting to supervise the doctoral research.

Citizenship and residence

This competition is open to all candidates wishing to studies in the fields of climate changes without citizenships restrictions.


It should be noted that candidates cannot use the scholarship for preparatory studies.

Eligibility period

Candidates are eligible to doctoral scholarships for a maximum of three years (nine instalments) or up the end of their doctoral program of study, whichever come first.

4. Submitting applications

Candidates who wish to apply for a scholarship must follow the “Instructions for completing an application”. It is also strongly suggested to read the guide for the preparation of a demand “Building on Excellence”.

Only one application per competition is allowed.

Candidates who apply to the Réal-Decoste doctoral research scholarship may also apply for B1X, B2X or A2X.

Preparing application file

Online forms

A candidate must have a personal identification number (PIN) in order to fill out the form.

The application form you are required to complete is available only on the FRQNT Web site. Keep a printed copy of the form for your files.

Forms may be completed in English or French. Candidates who submit the form in English must provide a French title for their project.

Two letters of recommendation are required. Letter e-forms are available on the FRQNT website. Research directors in Québec may not write letters of recommendation.

The e-form may be sent to the FRQNT from the respondent’s personal e-file.

Director’s section

A director who does not have a personal identification number (PIN) must obtain one from the FRQNT and quickly inform the applicant. The applicant must include his/her director’s PIN on his/her application.

When the applicant types his/her director’s PIN into his/her application, the Director’s section will become available in the director’s personal e-file.

The Director’s section must be filled out and sent electronically by the research director by the competition deadline.

Required documents

The required documents must be submitted in the appropriate file on the request form.

Candidates must ensure that their application includes all the required documents so that the application file is considered acceptable.

You have to supply the following documents :

  • A copy of official transcripts of marks for all university studies, completed or not (certificate, degree, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph. D., etc). When equivalences are granted for courses taken at other institutions or in previous programs, transcripts for these grades must be enclosed with the file, including collegial transcripts. For transcripts from outside Canada or United States, candidates must enclose a letter explaining the grading system used by the institution in question. The Fonds de recherche reserves the right to verify with institutions the authenticity of any information given by applicants.
  • FRQNT considers transcripts issued by the Registrar’s Office to the applicants to be official transcripts. Opening the envelope to scan the transcripts will not render it unofficial for FRQNT purposes;
  • A proof of citizenship;
  • For permanent residents, a copy of Canadian immigration papers or the permanent Resident Card;
  • Acknowledgements of receipt from the editor for all articles submitted and notices received from editors for articles accepted for publication (Acknowledgements of receipt for articles already published are not sent to the evaluation committee);
  • Copies of the announcement or confirmation letters for all of the scholarships received.

Only the e-form for the 2020-2021 financial year and the other documents required are accepted. No attached material or documents other those required are forwarded to the evaluation committee. Files cannot be updated after the closing date for applications. You may, however, update any contact information (address, phone number and e-mail address) at this email address:

Documents submitted in a language other than French or English must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Procedure for submitting required documents

Before the closing date for applications, candidates must submit all required documents in the appropriate file on the application form. No reminder will be made and no files can be added after the deadline.

Incomplete files will not be accepted

Acknowledgement of receipt

You will receive a preliminary decision regarding the eligibility of your application by e-mail in December at the latest. Candidates who have not received this notification should contact the program administrator before December 15.

5. Evaluation of applications

Evaluation criteria

Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria and weighting:

Excellence of university record

25 points

Aptitude for research and relevant research experience, where applicable

25 points

Quality of the research project and its compatibility with the strategic goals of the Ouranos consortium and the academic environment.

50 points


100 points

Excellence of university record

The following indicators are used:

  • cumulative average obtained
  • progression of studies
  • multidisciplinarity if relevant

Aptitude for research and relevant research experience, where applicable

The following indicators are used:

  • reason for the application, research interests and candidate’s motivation for doctoral studies
  • candidate’s experience and achievements
  • letters of evaluation
  • general presentation of the file

Scientific quality and interest of the research project academic environment

The following indicators are used:

  • clarity of the scientific objectives
  • relevance of the methodology for the objectives sought
  • compatibility of the research project with Ouranos’ priorities
  • material and financial resources provided by the academic environment
  • the multidisciplinary nature of the project or the contribution of more than one science to its execution

Evaluation procedure

The role of the FRQNT

The FRQNT manages the Programme de bourses d’excellence Réal Décoste for the Ouranos Consortium.

Role of evaluation committee

Admissible applications are submitted to evaluation committee composed of researchers/professors from universities affiliated or not with Ouranos, consortium representatives and representatives from private enterprises or government agencies.

The evaluation committee compare the candidacies submitted according to the evaluation criteria in effect. Consequently, this committee is responsible for ranking all of the applications on merit.

Role of the program administrator

The program administrator of the FRQNT prepares the annual call for applicants and appoints the evaluation committee. The program administrator follows up on all correspondence with the applicants, scholarship recipients and scholarship coordinators in Québec universities. The program administrator must also see that committee members respect the evaluation criteria and rules of ethics that are in effect.

Role of the Ouranos consortium

The Consortium is advised by the evaluation committees and makes funding decisions.

6. Awarding of scholarships

Candidates are evaluated and ranked on merit by the evaluation committees. A new scholarship is offered for each competition.

Announcement of results

At the end of April, the Ouranos consortium decision is transmitted to candidates through e-file.

Contacting members of the committees, who are subject to rules of confidentiality, is strictly prohibited.

The decisions of the consortium Ouranos confirmed by the Board of Directors of the FRQNT are final and cannot be appealed. There is no appeal process.

The candidate must accept or decline the scholarship within 10 days of receiving the scholarship notification. After this deadline, candidates are deemed to have declined the scholarship.

7. Rules for using scholarships

The scholarship holders have to conform to all the rules described in detail in the Scholarship Holder’s Guide.

Scholarship recipients must attend a Québec university and study or conduct research in Québec.

Double doctoral degree programs are not admissible.

The scholarship recipient must meet all eligibility requirements for the duration of his/her scholarship. Please note that to be awarded the scholarship, the Fonds has to receive a copy of the student visa.

Period for using scholarships

The scholarship period must begin between May 1st, 2020 and January 15th, 2021. Unless exceptional circumstances exist, the scholarship cannot be carried over from one year to the next. For candidates who have begun the program of study, the period of use begins in May 2020.

The scholarship is not retroactive and sessions prior to Summer 2020 cannot be financed.

The maximum duration of a scholarship is three years.

Scholarships are awarded for the duration of the eligibility period, subject to presentation of progress reports deemed satisfactory by the program administrator. The period of use cannot be longer than the eligibility period.

Value of scholarships

The maximum value of doctoral scholarships or scholarships is $20,000 for a period of three sessions, or 12 months of studies.

The scholarship holder may receive a maximum of nine instalments totaling $60,000 within the eligibility period (nine sessions or 36 months). Each instalment of a maximum of $6,667 covers a period of four months, or one session.

Holding several scholarships concurrently (cumulation)

The following types of scholarships may not be held concurrently:

  • merit-based scholarships from Government of Quebec funding agencies such as the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), the Fonds de recherche du Québec Société et culture (FRQSC), the general program scholarships of the FRQNT;
  • the Conseil de recherches en pêches et agroalimentaire du Québec (CORPAQ) ;
  • the scholarships program «Bourses d’excellence pour étudiants étrangers» of the ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport du Québec (MELS).

Holding several scholarships concurrently (cumulation) is permitted with:

  • merit-based scholarships from federal funding agencies such as the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Council (CC);
  • scholarships of Government of Canada departments and agencies;
  • the scholarships of Government of Quebec departments and agencies, excluding those mentioned above, provided an agreement has been signed between the government department or the agency and the FRQNT;
  • scholarships from the private sector and from universities;
  • loans and bursaries from the ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de la Science (MESRS).


Regardless of the exceptions relative to the paid work described in the scholarship holders guide, scholarship holders may accept a job that does not represent more than 150 hours per session, provided their supervisor is in agreement and that these activities do not hinder their research program. For the purpose of this rule, a course load of 45 hours is equivalent to 150 hours of work.

The salary that students receive from their supervisor for working solely on their research project is considered a scholarship for which cumulation is permitted.

8. Research ethics and Conformity

Any individual or institution that receives funding must demonstrate the highest standards of research ethics and scientific integrity. See the Common General Rules for further details.

9. Integrity of the evaluation process

At no time may applicants or their institutional authorities make contact with evaluation committee members, unless such contact is specified as part of the evaluation process. Similarly, evaluation committee members must not make contact with applicants, unless such contact is specifically indicated in the evaluation process. The identities of evaluation committee members are kept confidential to avoid any attempt at collusion. The Fonds reserve the right to withdraw an application from competition if there is any inappropriate intervention, lobby, undue influence or collusion during the evaluation process, as stipulated in the Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

10. Liability of the FRQNT and the Ouranos Consortium

The FRQNT is entrusted with the management of the competition and the scholarships granted by the Ouranos Consortium. The FRQNT offers the electronics means or instruments needed to prepare and submit the candidacy.

The FRQNT and the Ouranos Consortium art not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from processing of scholarships, bursaries or other applications, and, without limiting the generality of the above, are not liable for any direct or indirect injury arising from unauthorized disclosure by the FRQNT of the information contained in candidates’ files. Despite all the precautions taken by the FRQNT to protect information that must be kept confidential, certain countries to which information is transmitted may not have security procedures such as asymmetric cryptography or encryption.

11. False or misleading information

The Fonds presume the good faith of the declaration provided in funding applications or in any other document submitted at any time during the funding cycle, from the initial funding application to the final report. Applicants and funding holders must be transparent and provide accurate and precise information. They must be conscientious about advising the Fonds of any changes in their situation, where applicable.

Under the Act Respecting the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (CQLR, c. M-, any individual who submits an application containing false or misleading information to obtain or procure financial support is committing an offence, is liable to a fine and could be barred from receiving financial support for a period of up to five years. Where a legal person commits such an offence, every director or representative of that legal person who was aware of the offence may be liable to a fine. Furthermore, such a declaration constitutes a breach of responsible research conduct, as set forth in the Fonds de recherche du Québec Policy for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and may be subject to sanctions in accordance with this policy.

The Fonds reserve the right to take immediate measures to stop the use of public funds obtained through false or misleading information, and to take legal action to recover fraudulently obtained funds and claim compensation for damages caused where appropriate.

12. Other aspects

Please refer to the Common General Rules for any questions regarding the responsible conduct of research, confidentiality and the protection of personal information, intellectual property and the protection of academic freedom.

13. General considerations

The Ouranos Consortium reserves the right to change the value of scholarships and the program rules described in this document without notice.

14. Coming into effect

The provisions of this document apply to the 2020-2021 financial year.

15. For information

Please note that the FRQNT does not accept collect calls.

Candidates who contact us by email must provide a phone number where they can be reached.  Priority is given to emailed information requests.